Before coming to Madrid, I had already decided that living with a host family would be the only way I could take full advantage of the opportunity that awaited me. As soon as I arrived in Madrid, a family was ready to open their doors to me - not only for the semester, or the year - but for a lifetime. My host mom welcomed my roommate and me home every night with a traditional, home-cooked Spanish meal and would enjoy conversations with us in Spanish (accompanied by the occasional English translation). My host mom was always there to help with anything from caring for me when I was sick to mastering conversational phrases and terms that Spaniards use daily. For me, living in a host family was the best decision I have made thus far. It allowed me to overcome the challenge of immersing myself in a new culture and gave me the confidence and comfort to be able to stay in Madrid for two years. For those two years, and many to come, I will always have family in Spain. Meghan, Major: Golbal Business, Hometown: Kingston, MA.

As someone who has absolutely no navigational skills whatsoever, it can be extremely challenging to find my way around an unknown area, especially one in a foreign country. When I first got to Madrid, I remember thinking that getting around the city would take me the entire semester. Much to my surprise, it only took me about a week and a half to figure out how to use public transportation, and now I go everywhere by metro or bus. This past semester I had one morning class and one afternoon class every day. During the time between my classes, I’d get coffee an do my homework. For the most part the cafés are fairly quiet, which make them a good place to get homework done or study. Justice, Major: Public Relations, Hometown: Cranson, RI.

During my time at SUMC I have had the chance to take a lot of interesting classes that were directly focused on my business major. The professors who teach at SUMC all have incredible backgrounds in their fields and have been some of the best professors that I’ve ever had. It’s hard to choose a favorite class or professor that I’ve had during my year in Spain, but I can honestly say that I have never felt so much respect in a classroom or genuinely enjoyed my classes as I have here. I am excited to come back next year to continue learning from all my favorite professors even more. Myra, Major: Global Business, Hometown: Nantucket, MA.

Madrid is a city full of incredibly fun things to do and see; there is never a dull moment. Each week Student Activities sends a list of interesting things going on in Madrid, like intercambios - where you can go meet people from all over the world to practice your Spanish, tapas tours - for trying out different restaurants and traditional Spanish food, Suffolk Cine Club - where you can go to the movies and see new films in Spanish, and a list of festivals and events going on in the city. On top of all these great suggestions, you can always go out on your own to visit the beautiful parks, plazas, and museums that Madrid has to offer. And nothing beats Madrid’s nightlife. Sam, Major: Global Business, Hometown: Millis, MA

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad when I went to college, so when I found out that Suffolk University had a program letting incoming students complete their first two years at their Madrid Campus, I jumped at the chance! The thought of studying abroad as a freshman was enticing and exciting. Once I committed to Suffolk Madrid, I immediately became nervous and started having lots of doubts, but after attending orientation in the summer, all those worries washed away. I became excited after hearing previous students’ experiences and meeting some of my future classmates. With the nerves out of my system, I began to prepare for my time abroad, and when the time came to leave the house I called home for 17 years, I had zero doubts in my mind that Suffolk Madrid was the right choice. With the amount of memories and number of friends that I have made because of Suffolk Madrid, I could not be more excited to return for my second year! Evelyn, Major: Spanish, Hometown: Buffalo, NY.

When I made my initial decision to venture 5,000 miles from home and commit to Suffolk Madrid, I was a very different person than the one I am today. I arrived in Madrid as your typical awkward freshman. I was extremely shy and not quick to run up to a group of people I didn’t know. But being so far from home has allowed me to grow more into the person I had always hoped I would be. I've become a less awkward (but still a little awkward) version of myself. Now I feel that I can enter any social situation–including those in which the language being spoken isn’t English–and feel comfortable in my own skin. Additionally, becoming friends with other students from all around the world, has helped shape me as a person. In my travels and through the friends I have made, I’ve gained a broader knowledge about history and cultures on an international scale. Suddenly, multiple parts of the globe have become connected which only further fuels my aspirations to travel more in the future. Overall, SUMC has helped me discover more of myself and more of the world. Codee, Major: Psychology, Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA.